The much-anticipated Oyster, a Parisian-style seafood cafe, is slated to open in Sebastopol’s Barlow in early October.
Chef Jake Rand of Sushi Kosho announced the opening of his compact eatery in March with hopes of opening over the summer. A slightly longer-than-expected build-out moved the timeline to fall, but Rand expects to welcome guests by Friday.
The 400-square-foot, open-kitchen restaurant is neatly laid out to include nine counter seats and outdoor tables for al fresco dining.
“This inspiration is from any corner bistro on any street in Paris,” said Rand, standing in front of the cafe’s roll-up door last month. Rand opened Sushi Kosho in 2018, and it sits just across the street.
In addition to a raw bar, Oyster’s menu will include French classics like moules-frites (steamed mussels with fries) and fusion twists (Hawaiian kanpachi tartare, panko-dusted oysters) to round out the concept. Duck-fat fries, chili-dusted calamari and an oyster po’ boy sandwich are also slated for the menu, along with plancha-cooked octopus and whole branzino.
Every inch of space inside Oyster is puzzled together to maximize the dining area. There’s a full kitchen with a small range and plancha grill for searing, oven, fryer and brass-plated kitchen hood. Rand plans to expand the restaurant into an adjacent storefront next door in January and move the dishwashing area and prep kitchen behind a wall and add another 20 indoor seats.
Rand said his concept for the small-plates restaurant came about as an alternative to his more chef-driven Sushi Kosho.
“Oyster will be more about socializing, small plates, a la carte sharing and just popping in,” Rand said. “This just fits the times. People can take out and sit on a bench, take it home or have a one-on-one experience inside the restaurant.”
Rand hopes to offer a ticketed multicourse tasting menu in 2023, using the counter seats to offer an intimate chef’s table experience.
The drink menu will focus on sparkling wines from around the world but will focus on France, Italy and Sonoma County. Several open bottles will sit on ice near the raw bar to showcase current by-the-glass selections, Rand said.
Oyster will open at 6761 McKinley St., Suite 130, in Sebastopol.